MRG IPTV Report Mixes Continued Growth with Volatility

Monday, April 13th, 2009
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SAN JOSE, CA — MRG Inc. announces new leaders in the Global IPTV Market Leaders Report — March 2009, which tracks the top 100 IPTV vendors in 24 regional sub-segments based on the installed base of 6 video systems products in over 700 IPTV Operations. Continuing growth of subscribers is reflected by increased deployments of IPTV products in Europe, Asia, Rest of World, and especially in North America.

While the closing of Tiscali/Italy and the reorganization of Nortel leave ripples of change throughout the industry, over 35 new IPTV operations began trials or deployment in the past six months in all 4 regions, leaving ripples of opportunity for existing companies. For the first time, Microsoft has moved upward to second position globally in Middleware and Content Protection, and first in VOD, as its competitors brace for further rolling swells from the software giant. Yet, sixteen VOD vendors remain in the race with each of the top 10 having well over 1 million subscribers. In Content Protection, Verimatrix again scores #1 globally–far ahead of Microsoft–in a sector clearly leading the industry in its sure-footed march to provision the converged 3-screen services markets worldwide and regionally.

Despite the competition in Middleware, over 22 companies continue to compete as if this were a marathon rather than a sprint, despite the fact that each of the six top vendors has well over 1 million subscribers. A similar situation exists with Set-top-Boxes (STBs), with the top 8 suppliers each having well over 1 million subscribers while Motorola and Amino (including its recent acquisition of Tilgin) are beginning to pull ahead. “Because of widely disbursed engineering, sales and manufacturing, the IPTV STB sector supports more competitive suppliers on a sub-regional basis than earlier multi-channel industries like cable or satellite,” states Gary Schultz, CEO of MRG, Inc. “In many ways IPTV as an industry looks more like a triple-play version of the mobile phone industry than older models of the multichannel video industry.”

An example of regional volatility is Asia, where UTStarcom has moved into first position for Access, VOD, Set-top-Boxes, Middleware and Content Protection due to its strong gains in China. “This kind of a regional category-take-over is unprecedented,” states Jose Alvear, IPTV Analyst at MRG. “Larger regional vendors (and Service Providers) are starting to ‘pull out all the stops’ on their regional strategies, on the belief that the economic contraction is offering unique opportunities to move aggressively into unserved markets.”

“Some IPTV market segments are more volatile than others and will certainly see some changes in the future,” says Jose Alvear. “However, one thing is certain: the IPTV market is still going strong. Not only are subscriber numbers rising, but new Operators are also in the midst of deploying IPTV systems all around the world.”